On the spot mapping is what smartphones are all about. Since the arrival of a decent screen, GPS and mobile broadband, finding your way around on the streets is only as perilous as the likelihood of someone snatching your phone from your hand. As it goes, that’s actually a fair degree of peril but perhaps far worse still is the dreaded situation where you’ve got no network coverage and become rudderless, rotating slowly on the spot like a demagnetised compass needle. Very sad. You know what you need, don’t you? This:
- Android 2.1+
- Android Market
ForeverMap is a simple concept but an important one nonetheless. Rather than a gateway to a bunch of maps stored on an internet server, it allows you to download complete cartographic data to your handset to access without the need of any kind of connection.
Naturally, the downside is that it takes up what can be a precious amount of storage space on your phone, but ForeverMap gets around this by allowing the user the choice of which city or country maps to download individually. Now, while that might not be ideal on an on-the-fly basis - particularly as it requires a Wi-Fi connection for the download - it does mean that you can navigate on your smartphone while abroad without any of those evil roaming charges to worry about.
The app’s put together by Skobbler and it’s based on the information from the OpenStreetMap. So, there’s POI, routing, address searches (offline, of course) and the bonus of some fairly good details of pathways and the like.
The free version of the app is identical to the paid one except for the methods by which you download the maps. If you pay, you can do it at normal speeds and via a dedicated server. If not, it’s P2P torrent connection for you which takes an unnecessarily huge amount of time - about an hour for 250MB for example. So, the moral of the story is to think ahead.
All the same, ForeverMap works well and will keep you covered all over the UK and the rest of Europe. Certainly handy for holidays. Oh, and for those on iPhone - yep, there is indeed an app for that.
Are there any better offline mapping apps that you know of? Drop them into the comments.